Madison Originals Magazine Madison Originals Magazine February 2012 - Page 36

36 | madison originals magazine CREATING BEAUTY FROM THE JUMBLE original art When Anthony Gassaway looks at a piece of scrap metal, he envisions a thing of beauty. Tony, as he prefers to be called, is a metal artist who works with carbon steel and stainless steel to create sculptures that are unique and very colorful. “Art has always been part of my life. I’ve always had a great appreciation for the culture,” Tony explains. While most kids want a car for their eighteenth birthday, Tony wanted tickets to the play Equus. The play had a profound effect on Tony, who grew up poor on the south side of Chicago, the youngest of three boys in a single-parent home. Many of the metal sculptures Tony creates pay homage to his mother and her struggles and triumphs as a single parent. His mom is now 87 years old, and in her words “still stepping jazzy.” “Fifty-two years” was Tony’s response when asked how long it took to create Satisfy your Dreams, a table-top piece that represents what his mother told him about how to live his life. “She always said ‘Nobody’s going to do it for you. You have to do it for yourself.’” A man of introspection, Tony writes poetry and was the bass player for 11 years in a Chicago-based rock/reggae band. Tony met his wife, Laurie, at one of his band’s concerts. Married for 24 years, the couple resides in Wautoma, Wisconsin. Tony sells his work from Studio Gallimaufry, which is located in his garage. How Tony named his studio is a story of happenstance. “I was channel surng one day while watching TV and came across the national spelling bee. One of the spellers was given the word ‘gallimaufry’ to spell. Once I found out that it means a mix or jumble of things, I decided that was a perfect name for my studio.”A welder for the past eight years at Magnum Products, which produces light towers, pumps, and other products in Berlin, Wisconsin, Tony buys scrap carbon steel from Magnum that would otherwise end up in a landll. His employer shows support for Tony’s art by displaying one of his works in the company lobby.“Sometimes we’ll get in parts that aren’t the right specications for what we need. And because we can’t always send them back, I’ll buy them to use in my sculptures,” says Tony. A recent acquisition was gasket seals, which he is putting to good use in his Face to Face series of sculptures. “Society has become so dependent on mobile technology that we are losing human contact. I wanted to portray how face-to-face contact is disappearing because mobile technology has become similar to substance abuse. I try to have a statement in all of my work. I want my buyers to be able to say ‘not only did I just buy it from Tony, but here’s what it means.’ I’ve met artists who do art just because they can, but their work doesn’t have a meaning,” explains Tony. By having a statement, his work keeps his buyers excited and coming back for more.Tony, a self-taught artist who attended MATC-Madison for his welding By Jill Carlson Face to Face (conversation) Face to Face (conversation) #2 in yellow Life Cycle